No one wants to think about it, but winter is coming. And if you haven’t already done so, it might be time to put on those winter tires. Here are five things you want to know about winter tires.
1. Winter tires offer better grip
The tread compound for winter tires is made from a higher percentage of natural rubber and allows the tire to remain flexible at temperatures below 7 C, as opposed to the all-season tire that begins to lose tread flexibility once the mercury dips below that mark. Greater flexibility at lower temperatures provides improved traction on both snow-covered and cold, dry roadways. When you see your breath, it’s time to change your tires.
2. Winter tires offer better control
Winter tires have a deeper tread depth than an all-season tire, allowing the winter tire to grip and disperse snow and ice, improving the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle and shorten its braking distances.
3. Four winter tires are better than two
Since most vehicles are front-wheel drive, installing two winter tires on the front axle may cause the driver to loose control particularly when hard braking or emergency steering.
4. Look for the symbol
When purchasing a winter tire, ensure it meets the severe snow performance standards established by the Rubber Association of Canada – the mountain snowflake symbol, which can be found embossed on the tire sidewall.
5. Tires are only as good as the driver
To reduce the risk of winter accidents, drive according to road and weather conditions, avoid jerky movements, leave plenty of space, don’t rush, clean off your car of snow and ice, properly inflate your tires and always look – and plan – ahead.